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  • Hunter Communications

The Changing Definition of Influence

By Bella Scaturro, Senior PR Associate

‘Influence’ is defined as the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.

A decade or two ago, this would have come from celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Blake Lively, Chad Michael Murray or Miley Cyrus.

Five years ago, it was our favourite influencers (here’s to the Shani Grimmond era for all my Millennials and Gen Zs).

But now, in such a saturated market, it’s more likely to be our friends, families and colleagues.

In a world where there’s a dollar behind every article and social post, trust has diminished, and people are turning back to the only place they can get a true recommendation, other people.

We’re already seeing this with apps like BeReal (have a read of our PR Coordinator Emily’s article on: how Brands need to BeReal). The ‘follower’ model we all know has been stripped and the app has brought the focus back to what really matters – each other.

Blame it on the pandemic or not, the definition of ‘influence’ is changing once again.

So how do we incorporate this into a PR sense? How can we communicate in a way that actually reaches people? Here are four things to look out for.

  1. People like people. It’s a way we relate, learn and grow. So why not use it to our advantage? There is power in a good case study, and that can apply in any industry.

  2. There is power in communities. We are entering an era where community engagement is more powerful than ever. Your local football team comprises neighbours, friends and family. In many cases, there’s more power in that than the Kardashians.

  3. Owned channels are back, baby, and they look very different. The power in a brand’s own channel is slowly gaining a resurgence, but it looks a little different. A brand identity can no longer just be surface level. Consumers are far more likely to a connect to a brand where they can connect a face and story to the name.

  4. The surge of the nano influencer. Not necessarily a new concept, but nano influencers (100 to 10,000 followers) are known for their highly engaged audiences, often because their followers know them outside of their platform. Take a look at your friends’ social channels – how many followers do they have?

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